A vaccine for varicella received full approval from the FDA in 1995, and within a decade forty states and DC added varicella as a required immunization for enrollment in public elementary schools. Today all fifty states enforce this mandate. Near-universal mandatory immunization against chicken pox virtually eliminated the disease in the space of a generation.
This past October, a coronavirus vaccine for children aged five to eleven received emergency-use authorization from the FDA; since then, a little more than 18% of eligible children in the U.S. have received the two shots required for vaccination [....] across large swaths of the U.S. -- including in states where COVID-vaccine mandates for state employees and health-care workers are banned -- any large-scale immunization effort is a nonstarter. It's also increasingly likely that existing vaccine mandates will collapse. [...]
Ted Cruz stated, "COVID policies should be based on science and common sense, not the hysterical demands of radical liberal activists and union bosses who have no interest in what's best for our children.") [...]
Having had chicken pox places you in a specific before-time, the way that the smallpox-vaccine scar on my father's upper arm does for him. Perhaps it's only natural to long, a little, for the before-time of chicken pox, when the question was whether we would be able to wipe out a disease and not, once we had the capability, whether we would choose to do it.
In the COVID era, the success of the varicella vaccine in the nineties is staggering to contemplate.